The ordinary conflict

I like stories that are able to look at the human condition and provide a meaningful experience with no need to save humanity.

Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or for that matter the Passions of Jesus Christ are all great tales, but they disconnect me from the main character by the sheer pressure of the stakes at play. A vast majority of us would crumble if the whole universe depended on our actions.

On the other hand we have great stories that happen on the micro level. I just finished Paterson [1] which presents an ordinary bus driver going about his life. The movie basically has no arc, and nothing groundbreaking happens in it, yet by the time it’s finished we have a great story. Crime and Punishment [2] has a lot of action but still on the small level, and Roma [3] is an emotional portrait of a family being torn apart by divorce. They manage to be a lot more relatable due to the palpable circumstances, normal characters involved and the simple decisions that they make in the story. Not everything needs to be on a grande level.

We all thought about handling stressful situations in our life. How would I overcome this or that. I never really thought about single handedly defeating Vladimir Putin. The fantasy and dream like nature of the hero’s story are amazing and they provide incredible narratives to us, but making us laugh and cry on a smaller level screams out good, or better, writing.

[1] Paterson - Jim Jarmusch https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paterson_(film)

[2] Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoevsky https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_and_Punishment

[3] Roma - Alfonso Cuarón https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roma_(2018_film)